February 2, 2023


Writer's Showcase

‘The Soldier’ by Elisa Wei

1 min read

The Soldier by Elisa Wei

comes at dusk
with hope on his sleeves and regret in his footsteps
a bouquet of late summer in an anxious fist

he makes his way across the familiar field
where oaks loom large and a red barn sits empty
the smell of old milk and the buzz of abandoned hives
await him, where a woman waits

she knows he grinds his teeth at night
she knows he mourns the loss of his hair
she knows he remembers her name

he is sorry for the delay, the train, he explains
the bombing of the capital
the sound of blood-stained rain, a refrain he mumbles
half in shame, half in unbridled fury

so she takes him in her arms, offers him a shot
of cooled horilka, sweetened slightly
to dull his unimaginable pain


© Elisa Wei 2022

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3 thoughts on “‘The Soldier’ by Elisa Wei

  1. So many poets have been… Shall we say, ‘inspired’? … to write about the catastrophic war raging in Ukraine at this time, but this one finds a way to my very heart, especially with it’s final stanza that paints a picture of love on the one hand and then reminds us that we cannot really comprehend the diabolical pain within the returning soldier.

  2. The life of a soldier is completely dedicated to his country, for him, nothing is more important than his duty. They are so indulged in it that they cannot spend a little quality time with their families. But after all, they are human beings, they also have a heart, and they also miss their family, and that is so nicely written here. I salute every soldier no matter which country they are from.

  3. This poem emphasizes that soldiers are human beings, too, with hopes, feelings, and emotions. Anyway, I believe that we should forever salute them for their selflessness. Because, Their lives are completely dedicated to their countries without any terms and conditions. Actually this poem is sad and tragic yet beautifully powerful. Excellent job, Elisa.

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